CAIRO (Alliance News) - The Egyptian Interior Ministry said Monday that a senior commander in the Islamic State extremist group has been killed in a shoot-out in northern Cairo.
Ashraf al-Gharabli was the head of the extremist group's operations in Cairo, northern Egypt and the western desert oases, the ministry said.
It said police tried to move in on a car he was travelling in to arrest him, but he opened fire in an attempt to escape and was killed in the ensuing shoot-out.
The ministry said al-Gharabli was behind numerous crimes, including the July kidnapping of Croatian national Tomislav Salopek, who Islamic State later said it had beheaded.
He was also responsible for planning deadly bomb attacks on the Italian consulate in Cairo and police headquarters in Cairo and the northern city of al-Mansoura, the ministry said.
Egypt's most dangerous militant group, the Sinai-based Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, pledged allegiance to Islamic State last year.
It has claimed responsibility for bringing down the Russian plane that crashed in the Sinai Peninsula on October 31, killing all 224 people on board.
The militants have refused to say how they brought down the aircraft. Egyptian investigators say that initial evidence points to the plane breaking up in mid-air, but that it is too early to say whether that was caused by an explosion.